The National and County governments of Makueni will jointly plant over 4.6 million tree seedlings in Makueni County in 2018.
County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said the two sets of government were embracing each of the 233,000 households in the county to plant 20 tree seedlings each at their homesteads.
Mr. Mohammed was speaking during the launch of the National Tree Planting day in Makueni County at Matinga Dam in Kathozweni Sub- County Saturday.
“We want to initiate the Makueni County Afforestation Steering Committee, co-chaired by the governor and county commissioner. This committee will see how to raise 5 million tree seedlings in the shortest time possible in a bid to conserve our environment,” said Mohammed.
He said they will target to conserve areas prone to floods and bare hills across the county.
In this regard, the administrator urged the local residents to supplement government efforts in planting trees and ensure our environment is conserved for posterity and avoid the adverse weather conditions prevalent in the semi-arid area.
“We want to protect water sources across the county, including natural springs. If we fail to protect them, then it will impact negatively on us,” he said.
The county commissioner said in planting trees, we avoid devastating destruction by the heavy rains, since the speed of the surface water will be controlled.
On land grabbing, Mohammed put on notice individuals who have encroached on Matinga dam, saying the government will deal with them firmly as per the law.
“The county incurred over Sh 159 million destruction of property during the heavy rains that were pounding the area in the past months. Both the national and county governments will do something over this,” he observed.
Devolution Executive Committee Member (ECM) of Makueni County Julius Kaloi called for concerted efforts to conserve the environment.
In this respect, he challenged both parents and children in local schools to ensure they plant trees as a way of conserving the environment to avoid turning into a desert.
“The county government of Makueni has elaborate programmes that will be conducted through schools geared towards conserving the environment,” said Mr. Kaloi, who represented Governor Kivutha Kibwana at the function that was attended by departmental heads from the national and county governments.
Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Lands Mr. Joshua Wambua urged individuals who have encroached on Matinga dam to leave voluntarily of face forceful eviction.
The theme of the tree planting day is “Panda Miti, Penda Kenya”.
By Patrick Nyakundi